5 Players The Royals Need To Build Their Future Around

Let's put together a little hypothetical scenario: what if the Kansas City Royals were forced to release all but five players in a radical new MLB reassignment draft? Who should the Royals keep?

Well, these next five guys are our pick. They're also the guys we believe the Royals should hold on to AT ALL COSTS over the last half of the decade.

LF Alex Gordon

Gordon's the face of the franchise after re-signing with the team on a four-year deal -- that is, if he wasn't already the face prior to his return. The 31-year-old is the oldest player on our list, but his five-tool skill set and role as a glue guy in the clubhouse makes him irreplaceable.

The Royals front office knew that. That's why they ultimately met Gordo in the middle in contract negotiations, settling on $18 million per year.

C Salvador Perez

Right now, Perez is the best bargain in all of Major League Baseball. He's currently in the midst of an insanely cost-effective five-year, $7 million deal with three club options running through 2019. The Royals are open to re-negotiating his deal, though, and it's easy to see why.

Perez is the best defensive catcher in the big leagues, with three straight Gold Gloves to his credit. In addition, his Wins Above Replacement total is seventh-best among all players 25 or younger -- trailing a who's who list which includes Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton. No catcher in Major League Baseball can strap in Perez's shin guards, let alone match his value.

CF Lorenzo Cain

Cain made the jump from center-field foundation piece to undeniable superstar in 2015, hitting .307 with 34 doubles and 16 homers, while playing outstanding defense en route to a third-place finish in the American League MVP race.

The Royals avoided arbitration with Cain by striking a two-year, $17.5 million deal recently. However, it'll behoove them to shell out nine figures and keep Cain around in his prime when the 2017-18 offseason gets here.

1B Eric Hosmer

His offensive production has been and off-and-on journey over the past few years, but you can't argue with three straight Gold Gloves and an always-visible level of passion that infects both teammates and fans alike.

Baseball will always be a mental sport, based on focus when things get mundane and fortitude when things get tough. Hosmer is the kind of guy who leads by example in both of those aspects, getting other players young and old to follow his lead.

RHP Yordano Ventura

When we put together this list, we wanted to put Yordano Ventura and Wade Davis on here -- especially considering just how essential a bullpen's back end is in today's game. However, we settled on Ventura because of age (24) and upside.

He regressed statistically last year, but that's to be expected for a pitcher in the front end of his twenties. You don't happen across pitchers with Ventura's ace stuff very often, so it's imperative for Kansas City to latch onto a shooting star while it's hanging around.

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Related Topics: Yordano Ventura, Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Royals News, Royals Rumors, Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer